Attorney Mark O’ Mara, legal council for George Zimmerman, 28, has apologized for his client’s ill-timed apology at a stunning bond hearing where he was granted $150,000 bail Friday morning, saying that he did not know that the family would find it inappropriate, reports CBS News.
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“My concern is, I didn’t realize that the way [Martin’s family] had responded to me was through a press conference where they said it was too late or not an appropriate time,” O’Mara said. “To be honest, had I known that – maybe had I seen the press conference – I’m not sure that we would have done it at the bond hearing, because the purpose of it truly was to get to the family and to respond directly to the family’s request. Had I known or been told that that wasn’t the time, it wouldn’t have happened. So, I apologize for that.”
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As previously reported by Newsone, Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, refused Zimmerman’s request to meet with him in private the day before the bail hearing. Attorney Benjamin Crump made their stance clear on a potential apology at a press conference in Tampa, Florida:
We stand on legal, public safety and moral grounds to solidify our position that Zimmerman should be held without bond until these matters are concluded,” Crump said.
“Sybrina is a Christian lady and Tracy — they are good people, and there may be a time and place for that, but not now.”
Critics — and prosecutors — not only accused Zimmerman of pandering to the court and media, but of also attempting to sway public opinion his way after weeks of silence. O’ Mara claims that the apology was not malicious and had nothing to do with bail being granted:
“[It] certainly it wasn’t necessary to get a bond. It is not usual that you have somebody get up at all in a bond hearing. We wouldn’t have done it in this case.”
Clearly, as Zimmerman attempted to build his self-defense case in public, bringing Trayvon’s parents comfort was not on his agenda.
“The apology was somewhat of a surprise because we had told them this was not the appropriate time, but they just disregarded that, and he went and pandered to the court and the media and gave a very insincere apology,” Crump said.
“I am sorry for the loss of your son,” Zimmerman said of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when he gunned him down on the night of February 26, 2012. “I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.”
When questioned by the prosecution about the sincerity of his apology and why he decided to wait until he was in front of the media to show remorse, Zimmerman claims that he told a police officer on the night that he killed Trayvon that he was sorry for the parents’ loss. Upon further questioning, he could not remember exactly to which officer he made that statement, but he confirmed that it should be in police records.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester agreed to allow Zimmerman to be released on $150,000 bail. He stipulated that he cannot have any guns and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman also surrendered his passport, reports the Associated Press. He was released at approximately midnight Sunday from the John D. Polk Correctional Facility. His current destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.